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Thread: Allen MADC 420(430)

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo JJSPenfl10's Avatar
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    Allen MADC 420(430)

    Hopefully someone can help me. I have a problem with my Allen organ. I can't remember if its a MADC 420 or 430 but hopefully that wont matter for this problem. I purchased it used from an Allen dealer, and it took quite a few years before I realized that it is not tuned to A440. It's currently tuned to A419. There's a possibility that I may have changed it accidentally along the way too. I'll be using it with a piano tuned to A440 for Christmas so hence the problem. Can someone tell me how to fix this?

    Thanks,
    Jon

  2. #2
    fff Fortississimo toodles's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    You really cannot accidentally change the tuning on this model--it takes a definite effort.

    So I have to ask the obvious: is the transposer turned on?

    That said, it takes a specific tool to adjust the tuning, and that might be in the same plastic envelope that had/has the voicing chart in it. I have not worked on this particular model, but the tuning adjustment would be on the computer board, underneath a metal shield. The adjustment might even be marked on the outside of the metal shield.

    If you don't have the tool, don't try to do this. You can't get the tuning correct without it, and you can damage things if you try to use something else. The tool is a long, thin, plastic thing probably with a flat blade screwdriver end and a hex Allen wrench driver on the other end. Because it is moving a ferrite slug in a coil you cannot use a metal Allen wrench, as that will change the magnetic characteristics and thus effect the tuning. Since ferrite is brittle, you also risk damaging the slug in the coil.

    The coils look like these, though this is a generic photo and Allen's coil will look a little different: https://www.coilcraft.com/images/slot10.jpg

  3. #3
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Ditto what toodles says. The plastic wand was normally included with each organ shipped, so it may be in a plastic package in the console, or maybe inside a big white paper envelope in the console or in the bench, or it may even be permanently lodged in the tuning coil. I seem to recall that on certain Allen models there was a shaft that was built right into the coil and left sticking out the side of the cage. Whether you find the wand or find it already in the coil, it enters the cage through a small hole in the side, and should be marked "tuning."

    Turning it gently you should immediately be able to tell which way raises the pitch, so turn it that way slowly, while you have a note blocked down and you watch the results on a tuning meter or a simple tuning app on your phone. (I use one called "ClearTune" which was either free or just a few dollars.)

    This should work unless something really strange has been done to the tuning coil by a previous fixer. Sometimes I see a tuning slug that has been damaged by someone trying to tune it with a screwdriver or something, but when they do that, it usually results in a piece of the slug breaking loose, which will make the organ go sharp, not flat.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
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  4. #4
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    Ditto what toodles says. The plastic wand was normally included with each organ shipped, so it may be in a plastic package in the console, or maybe inside a big white paper envelope in the console or in the bench, or it may even be permanently lodged in the tuning coil.
    Tritto what John & Toodles said. I have a photo of an earlier model of Allen, which shows an actual tuning mechanism with the post sticking out (like John stated). I'll see if I can find and post it.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

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